When we moved into a new office this past summer, I had a chance to Ikea hack the perfect standing desk. I’ve been using this set up for about 6 months and it’s been ergonomically sound and I’m quite happy with it. I’m taller than most people at 6’ 5” so it was a bit more of a challenge to get the exact height I needed, but this desk is adjustable so will work for nearly anybody. Here’s my desk and some of the thought that went into building a desk with my perfect working height 1 of 45 inches.
The most important part of a standing desk are it’s legs. Being much higher than a standard table makes it tough to find something solid and adjustable. The Vika Artur trestle has a max height of 36 5/8” and a wide base which makes them surprisingly sturdy for how lightweight they are. The shelves help structurally but also give organizational space. The trestles are adjustable and can work at a variety of heights including a normal sitting desk if you find yourself needing to go back to sitting.
The table top I went with is the Vika Amon that is 59” wide by 29 1/2” deep. Don’t go with anything smaller since the trestles have a depth of 27 1/2”, but you could likely get away with going larger. I would recommend a solid wood top like the Vika Furuskog over the Vika Amon since it’s extra weight would provide more stability and the solid top will allow you to securely screw, drill, or attach anything into it—which I did.
I had to add a small hack to get just a few more inches to my ideal keyboard height. I found some decent looking doorstops at the local hardware store and used them in between the trestles and the table top to add a few inches. I screwed the end of the doorstop into the table top and, after removing the plastic cap on the doorstop, put the metal piece that remained in the holes in the top of the trestle, which fit perfectly and was secure enough to hold the top in place.
I added the Ekby Alex wall shelf on top of the desk for storage room as well as to gain a few extra inches height that I needed for my perfect vertical keyboard position. The size of the shelf provides just enough depth at 11” to comfortably host a keyboard but isn’t quite long enough to store a piece of 8 1/2” x 11” piece of paper lengthwise inside the drawer, which is frustrating. The shelf just sits on the table and isn’t fastened because on long days, I can slide the shelf back on the desk and move my keyboard and trackpad down onto the table top which is the perfect typing position for when I pull up a stool.
Between the 36 5/8” tall trestles, the 1 3/8” thick table top, the 4 1/2 ” drawers, and the 2 1/2” doorstops, I had my perfect working height of 45 inches. Now I needed to get my monitor high enough.
I wanted to have a solid, functional riser that could work with any monitor configuration even though I was planning on getting the yet-to-be released Apple Thunderbolt Display. I made the riser with a Lack wall shelf on top of the Capita bracket. This gave me enough clearance that I would have decent monitor positioning and wouldn’t strain my neck looking down at a display.
This build gave me adjustability to get the ergonomic working height I needed, the stability to pound away at a keyboard all day without the desk wobbling, and all together a great looking and functional standing desk.
Here’s the total parts list for my Ikea standing desk build (with the better table top, since that’s what I recommend):
- Vika Artur trestle $30 x 2 = $60
- Vika Furuskog $60
- Ekby Alex $50
- Lack wall shelf $17
- Capita bracket $15
Grand total = $205
For ideal ergonomics, you need to have your elbows bent slightly greater than 90 degrees. To get your ideal working height, measure from the floor to where your wrists wrest when your elbows are slightly obtuse of 90 degrees. ↩